There is a land so vast and blessed, situated within the North Central part of Nigeria. That land habours the city of JOS, the Plateau State capital. Over the years, JOS has remained the darling of all people, both foreigners alike. Cities like JOS have made many people to attribute so many good things to Nigeria, whether real or imagined. One of the natural resources that are found in JOS is Tin, which in the 60’s was one of the country’s major exports.
The city being one of the 31 states of Nigeria has about 20 different ethnic groups (for example: Angas, Berom, Jarawa, Pyem, Ron and many others). It has about 17 Local Governments Areas (L.G.As). In some of these local councils you can have about 2 – 4 ethic groups. Located on a plateau landform (where it derived its name – plateau), the land formation is categorize into two: upper plateau (rocky and a lot of hills) and lower plateau (sandy). But some of the landforms have been defaced as a result of Tin mining, creating a lot of what is referred to as mining ponds, that are now turned into recreational spots.
Originally established in 1915 as a tin transportation camp, the early history of JOS was closely linked to the prosperity of the tin mining industry. In 1976 it became the capital of, first, the Benue-Plateau State and, later, the Plateau State of Nigeria and has become an important administrative and commercial centre. This has made it possible for one to easily find people of different backgrounds (race, tribe and religion) leaving together.
The weather in JOS is quiet nice. It is a mixture of temperate and tropical climates, most especially on the upper section of the state. And that has brought about a lot of colonial masters (British) and expatriates settling in JOS. The people also are nice, natural, and very receptive of visitors. They were warriors in early days, but civilization has greatly changed that way of living. Most of the population are dark in complexion. In agriculture, JOS means so much to Nigerians. The people grow crops like: Maize (corn), Guinea corn, Irish potato, Cassava, Yams, Acha (a kind of mustard seed crop). With the nature of the weather, a lot of vegetables and fruits are grown.
Characterized by impressive ridges and isolated rocky hills separated by extensive plains, the Plateau exhibits a variety of land forms which provide excellent picnic resorts. The clusters of hamlets and villages of JOS lend colour and beauty to the landscape. These settlements together with the farm plots are, in many cases, demarcated by cactus hedges. JOS remains one of the most cosmopolitan towns in Nigeria, and is the home of the largest Museum in Nigeria, a Public Library, a Wild Life Park, Holiday resorts for boating, Naraguta Pottery and Leather Workshop, Shere Hills and Lamingo Dam. It is adjudged the “home of peace and tourism” and of course, one of the safest cities to live in Nigeria.
As a nation in God’s own agenda, Nigeria is being used by God to play a key but prophetic role in Africa – the role of finishing the task of world evangelization. Several prophecies have come forth along this line in several forms both internationally and locally. JOS, the Plateau State capital having occupied a prominent place in the heart of Nigeria became so strategic in the realization of this prophecy. Coincidentally, the city of JOS is the headquarters of the Nigerian mission organizations making impact across the globe. The word JOS which is seen as an acronym for Jesus Our Saviour, has actually been in the news for some time now. The Christians in JOS have over the years witnessed all kinds of assaults from their Muslim neighbours. The most recent one was genocide with its attendant tales of horror cutting across every part of the city.
It should be noted that these crises may after all not be limited to JOS if not properly handled. Those behind the crises are ambitious and apparently will want to go beyond JOS to the entire nation and continent and probably the world. However, the timeless standard of God’s word is to love our enemies and do good to them that hurt us. God loves the whole world and His plan for salvation cuts across people of all religion and tribes. The Great Commission of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ requires that we still reach even those that kill us.
The acronym JOS, meaning Jesus Our Saviour, is a reminder to all Christians to pray more so that God will renew their passion and help them to love even the un-lovable so that they can reach them despite all the attacks. Jesus prophesied that those who follow Him will be hated and persecuted for His name’s sake. The comforting part of His promises is that He is always with us and so no one can successfully be against us. Indeed, Jesus is Our Saviour!